Woolworths seeks a return from its tech spend

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Woolworths seeks a return from its tech spend

Ready for next steps after stabilising systems.

Woolworths will spend the next 18 months realising a “productivity dividend” from recent investments in IT, including its troubled SAP merchandising platform.

The retail giant put in new technology systems including SAP as part of its Project Galaxy transformation.

The merchandising system officially went live in mid-2015 but caused problems for Woolworths, notably for its Big W subsidiary which was left with empty shelves after being unable to replenish stock.

Woolworths said in mid-2016 that the system was now stable – a claim repeated in its half-year 2017 results today.

CEO Brad Banducci said that while the company had spent a while “unashamedly … more focused on making [the systems] work”, it was now time to shift gears and seek value and a return on its investments.

“The platforms are now in. It’s terrific that we’re no longer talking about that,” he said.

“What we haven’t managed to do and will be doing in the back half of this financial year and then into the next financial year is working on the productivity dividend which comes from having efficient and new systems.”

Woolworths made fixing its IT a priority last year following its difficulty with the SAP implementation.

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